Join the conversation – Extending care: Supporting young people’s transition from out-of-home care to adulthood

Join the conversation – Extending care: Supporting young people’s transition from out-of-home care to adulthood

15 May 2019
Homeless teenage girl on streets with green rucksack

This webinar discussed recent research on the social and economic benefits of extending care to young people transitioning to adulthood.

Please post your comments and questions below.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, is now available.

The full recording of the webinar is also available on our YouTube Channel.

This webinar looked at how extending care can improve a range of critical outcomes for young people leaving out-of-home care. The presenters reviewed how policy has developed over recent decades, and outlined the potential economic benefits of extending care to young people transitioning from OOHC to adulthood. They also discussed the emerging evidence on extended care implemented internationally and considered its implications for policy and practice in Australia.

Related resources


Excellent webinar thanks : great to get the international stats A no brainer really that after child services are heavily involved in ones childhood that some young people might feel abandoned. One situation will and must differ from another and humans are not necessarily alike.
Susan Westcott
Apart from extending care, have you identified any extra supports that should be included in this extension of care to support independent living? Or, what must those extra three years include to improve positive outcomes?
Stable and affordable housing is a key to positive transitions so it is crucial that a guaranteed housing allowance (whether to support extended foster care or alternative arrangements for those leaving residential care) be included in any extended care programs. Resourcing to undertake further or higher education is also important as is evident from the current Raising Expectations project in Victoria. Another important resource is support to engage with a range of social and cultural networks. The latter is particularly valuable for Indigenous care leavers.
A/Prof Philip Mendes
Hi Philip, on the international evidence (Matheson), did the 'strict' approach to training employment variable improve results for young people or exacerbate them?
Matheson didn’t investigate this distinction. Nor did Mark Courtney and his colleagues because they compared those young people who met the education/employment criteria to participate in extended care to those young people who didn’t enter extended care. In short, extended care with those conditions excludes many care leavers who may be particularly vulnerable. The only way arguably to answer your question accurately on outcomes would be to include two separate groups in extended care who had similar backgrounds prior to transitioning: one with education/employment conditions, and one without.
A/Prof Philip Mendes
Is there work being done to help young foster people leaving care connect with others across Australia to offer an opportunity to develop a support group?
I understand that Victorian agencies such as the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Berry Street, St Luke’s Anglicare Bendigo and the Victorian office of CREATE have formed peer support groups. It is likely that similar peer networks have been formed in other States and Territories by the CREATE Foundation or other organisations.
A/Prof Philip Mendes

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